Unite to defend British boozer

After reading your Cover Story Brewer’s Swoop (MW April 19), the alarm bells started to ring. As brewers become more powerful through mergers and takeovers, and beer brands are streamlined, one can only predict a 1984-style scenario, with institutions like Bass dictating which beers we drink, in bars which owe more to dentists’ waiting rooms than traditional taverns.

I have long been dismayed by the insidious process of the modernisation pubs everywhere are undergoing which, although certainly giving many a much needed lick of paint, is also stripping the great British boozer of its individuality.

Personally, I would much rather drink in the cosy snug of a traditional warts-and-all establishment, than in the germ-free, clinical atmosphere provided by such monolithic institutions as JD Wetherspoons.

In your Cover Story Inn Jeopardy (MW March 15), you claim our local pubs are under threat from big chains’ theme bars. All I can say is I find it baffling that people willingly subject themselves to an evening of being served by po-faced twentysomethings, dressed in uniforms, telling them where they may and may not sit/smoke/drink, in an atmosphere strongly reminiscent of a winter’s evening in Bergen-Belsen.

I personally would rather join the ranks of the six-pack-and-a-video-at-home brigade than venture into such an ordeal of my own free will.

I think it’s time for the real drinkers of Britain to unite and rally support for the good old independent boozer, before such a thing no longer exists.

John Atherton

London NW1

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